Naomi's Reviews > Prodigal Summer

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
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Feb 13, 09

Read in February, 2009

I bought this book at a library sale and was so excited because I just loved The Poisonwood Bible by her; I could not stop talking about it. This book was kind of disappointing in that it took me until about page 162 to get into it, and even then, it wasn't the life-changer that the other one was. But, it did get me thinking about gardening and beekeeping and fun things I'd like to do someday. There was a lot of sex in it. In fact, the whole book was about reproduction and evolutions of all kinds; animal, plant, human, so I get what she was doing there. But it got tiresome fast.

But the most irritating thing about the book is that the author came off soapboxey quite often. I was fascinated to read about the sin of hunting predators vs. prey, and organic farming, and beautiful gardens and raising goats, etc. But it is less effective when it comes off preachy. She also came off anti-religious in a cheap shot sort of way. The characters she obviously wanted us to think of as heroines were, without exception, worshipers of nature and disparaged any kind of organized religion. On the other hand, the most despicable of her characters, the most small-minded and snipey, were always big church-goers. That's annoying, because it is clearly the author's own feelings that religion is not for the truly spiritual. She did this in Poisonwood, too, but that one was a story all about a religious hypocrite. I get that. Now, I am afraid that everything I pick up by her is going to be an obnoxious statement against organized religion. Boring. And small-minded.
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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine Naomi,

I have this book -- haven't read it. I too love the story teller that Barbara Kingslover is. My new favorite book of hers is Animal, Vegetable Miracle. I think you would really appreciate it. It can be preachy as if her God is the earth. But if you can ignore that aspect, you can really learn alot about growing gardens and raising animals as a true farmer does. I like your viewpoint about Barbara's writing. It's pretty accurate.


Naomi Yes! Her real strength seems to be in celebrating the earth and inspiring a simpler life. And I do love that. She is so good at storytelling and at highlighting natural wonders. She just seemed off her game or something in this one. I'll check out that one that you recommend. Sounds like fun.


Pete Brokaw I really enjoyed this book. I guess I don't expect every book I read to be a "life-changer." I just like BK's style of writing and enjoy that each book is different. BK can take the reader to a completely new place. I know several people who didn't like Poisonwood Bible, or found Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to be too preachy, so who's to say?


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